Educating Health Professionals and Community Activities
of the cooperative agreement program includes the support
of educational activities for physicians
and other health professionals and communities concerning human exposure to hazardous substances in the environ-
ment. Under the cooperative agreement, the
NJDHSS has developed approximately
70 different educational tools
related to human environmental health issues and has distributed more than 14,000 copies. An example of educational
material developed by NJDHSS includes "Health Care Provider Update," a series of newsletters for Ocean County
physicians and Toms River School District school nurses on the progress of cancer cluster investigations in Toms
River. Additionally, more than 725 New Jersey residents have attended approximately 40 public meetings or training
ATSDR also supported the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) in implementing their
Toxicology, Risk Assessment and Pollution (ToxRAP) environmental health curriculum
in the Toms River School
District. EOHSI provided instruction to more than 135 elementary school teachers on use of these modules. More
than 3,000 elementary school students were taught how to investigate health problems in their community. This
program will be extended to include 11th grade teachers and students.
Through a national cooperative agreement with the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, ATSDR
supports the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School. The Institute's Clinical Center is the only academically based occupational and environmental health facility in
New Jersey. Multiple chemical sensitivity and hazardous waste exposures are the most common environmental
diagnoses seen at the clinic.
In September 2001, ATSDR sponsored Grand Rounds on Pediatric Cancer Clusters and Environmental Exposures
at the Toms River Community Medical Center. A Mt. Sinai Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit physi-
cian along with a senior scientist from the NJDHSS conducted the session. More than 100 physicians and 15 other
health care professionals participated.
Funding for these projects is included in Site-Specific funds.
Integrated Site-Specific Activities
Dover Township Childhood Cancer Investigation ATSDR and NJDHSS often incorporate multiple activities
at a single site or in a community. The Dover Township Childhood Cancer Investigation is an example of a wide
range of activities, including early community involvement, public health assessments on two sites on the National
Priorities List (the Ciba-Geigy and the Reich Farm sites),
a public health assessment
on a site
of community concern
(the Dover Township Municipal Landfill), a health consultation on community water supply quality, exposure
investigations on private wells, health consultations on the post office, and two health consultations on childhood
cancer rates in the community. These all led to a case-control study, which examined the relationship of certain
childhood cancers with environmental exposures within the community.
As all of these activities were underway, ATSDR and NJDHSS met regularly and frequently with the community to
inform them of the progress of all components of the investigations and respond to additional concerns. Health care
providers, including physicians and school nurses, attended grand rounds and other seminars and were provided with
a series of newsletters describing the investigation.
Public Health Conferences
Grants are awarded to state and local agencies by ATSDR to support public health conferences. These conferences
encourage information sharing, technical discussion, and training activities, related to acute illness and chronic disease
associated with human exposures to hazardous substances. Three public health conferences have been conducted in